Minor Aliens to Receive Medi-Cal Coverage Starting in May

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

April 28, 2016

On May 1, a new California law will go into effect that will provide medical coverage to minor illegal immigrant children under age 19. As part of a Medi-Cal expansion plan included in California’s 2015 budget and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, an estimated 170,000 minors will have access to the entire spectrum of health care, including regular checkups, dental coverage and mental health treatment. California state taxpayers will fully fund the Department of Health Care Services program to the tune of $132 million.

Brown 2015 budget includes health care for illegal immigrants under age 19.

As is always the case with illegal immigrant entitlements, advocates promise that Medi-Cal for minor aliens is prudent and, over the long run, in taxpayers’ best interests. Just as driver’s licenses for aliens allegedly make the roads safer, Dream Act tuition for illegal immigrant college students creates a more skilled workforce, and the Trust Act protects unlawful immigrants from unjust deportation, early intervention health care means costly emergency treatment can be avoided down the road – or so the story goes.

Safer roads, a more skilled workforce and ending injustice toward immigrants are fine goals, but little tangible evidence exists to prove the claims advocates make when they promote the bills to a skeptical public.

Two things are probable about Medi-Cal expansion. First, the 170,000 enrollees represent an ultra-conservative estimate, as will quickly be realized when the eligible immigrants emerge from “the shadows.” And if 170,000 is a low-ball number, then by definition $132 million also is low.

Second, as long as California continues to make benefits to aliens readily available, illegal immigrants will keep coming to the state, and adding to its already unsustainable population, and near-bankrupt status.

Read The Sacramento Bee story here which quotes CAPS as critical of the bill and reprimands Brown for doing so little for California’s citizens and so much for illegal immigrants.

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